Singapore Markets Avian Flu Detecting Chip

SINGAPORE - Following successful trials of a new chip that can detect bird flu within a couple of hours, Singapore's biomedical firm, Veredus Laboratories, have taken the product to market.
calendar icon 25 March 2008
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The chip, no bigger than a fingernail, can detect various flu strains within two hours in a single test, compared with tests available in the current market which require multiple tests to becarried out, said local TV Channel NewsAsia.

Rosemary Tan, CEO of Veredus Laboratories, was quoted as saying: "In this test, you can tell if it's H1N1, H3N2, H5N1 or other Flu A, and this is very important because any of these strains can be a pandemic strain. Only with that kind of knowledge can appropriate action be taken to prevent any outbreaks."

This test can detect flu strains at the start of the infection, and can diagnose not just current viruses but also mutations, said the report.

Tan said the chip can also be modified from its present form to be used in the detection of cancers, infectious diseases and even biohazardous material.

The company has begun marketing the new device to hospitals, airports and border checkpoints, Tan told media.

Veredus Laboratories produced the chip in partnership with European semiconductor company ST Microelectronics.

The two companies have set up a joint laboratory here to develop new biomedical applications based on the new chip technology, according to the report.

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